Shaka’s 2003 interview in brief period of freedom

Supermax Wisconsin, produced by filmmaker Joshua Moise in 2003, documents the so-called “SuperMaximum Security Prison” in Boscobel, Wisconsin built in 1999. In addition to lawsuits filed by the American Civil Liberties Union, Moise’s work helped shed light on the horrific conditions the prison inflicts on the 500 captives it houses.

In response, the same year the documentary was released, the state of Wisconsin changed the name of the torture house from the “Supermax Correctional Institution” to “The Wisconsin Secure Program Facility.” As is typical, the state responds to critiques of material realities with linguistic changes.

The film examines the impacts Supermax prisons in general have on prisoners, and Shaka Shakur and his wife Akili Shakur are interviewed throughout the film. At the time, Shaka was enjoying a brief stint of freedom, and Moise interviewed him because Shaka was, along with five other prison organizers, held captive in the Westville Maximum Control Complex, the first Supermax prison in Indiana and the second build in the U.S.

Shaka was one of several key forces that initially organized against Supermax prisons, and was influential in the 1997 Human Rights Watch report, “Cold Storage: Super Maximum Security Confinement in Indiana.”

Supermax Wisconsin